How to Care for Philodendron Pedatum (Laciniatum)?
With highly lobed, oak-shaped leaves, the Philodendron Pedatum (Laciniatum) is a climbing variety that requires a support pole or other support structure for best growth.
In different stages of their development, the leaves of the philodendron Pedatum can take up a variety of shapes, but generally follow the oak-leaf structure, hence the other name for the plant — Oak Leaf Philodendron.
It’s considered a beginner-friendly plant, so whether you’re looking to add another philodendron variety to your collection, or just starting with indoor gardening, this plant will be easy to grow.
Here are my recommendations on how to care for the philodendron pedatum:
Size & Growth
I mentioned how the plant is a climbing variety that requires a moss pole or other support system to climb on. I’ve seen it, however, grow beautifully in hanging baskets as well.
It’s considered a fast-growing philodendron variety. In terms of the size you can expect it to achieve at maturity, the philodendron pedatum can climb to reach a height of around 9 feet and spreads to around 1 foot.
With proper care and in ideal conditions, the leaves themselves can reach a length of 14 inches.
The pedatum can grow in a range of light conditions but seems to be favoring bright indirect light or dappled light the most.
It can grow in low light conditions too, but it’s growth will be slower. It doesn’t tolerate direct sunlight because of its delicate leaves that can easily scorch under strong sunlight.
Should the leaves of your pedatum start to turn yellow or brown, assess the level and intensity of light it receives and move it out of direct light.
Watering seems to be one of the most problematic aspects in caring for the philodendron pedatum. It simply doesn’t tolerate overwatering, so you always need to check the soil to see how moist or dry it is before adding more water.
To avoid overwatering but also to make sure my plant doesn’t get dehydrated, I use the soak and dry method. That is, I water my philodendron deeply, then allow the top level of the soil to dry, and only then do I water it again.
Some prefer adding only little water but more frequently, which can also work, however, with that method you’re also likely to overwater if the soil doesn’t drain well or if it doesn’t dry until the next watering.
Therefore, regardless of the watering method you decide to use, check the soil for moisture.
A good soil type for the philodendron pedatum is rich but well-draining. The potting mix shouldn’t hold water; it should only retain just enough moisture to keep the plant hydrated.
Potting mixes with perlite, peat, sphagnum moss and coconut coir or fibers are excellent for philodendrons. Amending the soil with compost is also beneficial.
Soilless potting mixes are not prone to retaining water or becoming compacted, neither of which is ideal for philodendron plants.
Temperature & Humidity
The general temperature requirements of philodendrons apply for the philodendron pedatum as well. Make sure your plant is grown in an environment where the temperature is between 60 F and 85 F.
Like other philodendrons, this too is sensitive to cold and frost. It also doesn’t tolerate cold drafts or having fans, AC units, radiators or other direct sources of heat or cold nearby.
While enjoying a high humidity environment, the pedatum seems to be doing well even in average indoor humidity levels.
That said, if your home is dry, try increasing humidity levels to around 60%, which is a mutually beneficial arrangement for you and your philodendron.
Unlike heavy feeders, philodendrons still benefit highly from regular fertilizing, especially during the growing season, especially if you want large leaf growth.
A general-purpose liquid fertilizer applied monthly from spring to fall will do wonders to the foliage of the pedatum.
Favor organic fertilizers over synthetic ones and you can even use time release fertilizers as an alternative to liquid ones.
Don’t fertilize in the fall and winter, because the plant stops growing during this time and the added fertilizer does not benefit the plant.
Watch out for overfertilizing problems such as root burn and foliage burn. Dilute fertilizers correctly and don’t use more than the recommended amount.
Potting & Repotting
The ideal time to repot your philodendron pedatum is in early spring just before the growing season kicks off.
Repotting is not needed unless the plant becomes visibly large for its pot or roots are poking out of the pot. Change the current pot to a size bigger and make sure that it’s sturdy enough to keep the plant from falling over.
Drain holes at the bottom of the pot are a must to allow excess water to percolate out of the pot.
How to Propagate?
All philodendrons can be easily propagated from stem cuttings. It’s the propagation method with a high success rate and it’s easy to carry out.
Simply take cuttings of around 6 inches, making sure to cut below an aerial root and making sure there are a few leaf nodes on the stem.
Dab the cut end in some rooting hormone (works without it) and place it in a jar with water or plant directly in a moist potting medium.
Make sure no leaves are touching the water and that you keep the cutting out of direct light. Change the water frequently to prevent clouding.
Stem cuttings are best harvested in spring, when the plant’s metabolism is at its peak.
The Oak Leaf Philodendron is an interesting addition to an existing philodendron collection or as an introduction to philodendrons.
Make sure your Philodendron Pedatum is well hydrated without it being overwatered and that it’s planted in a rich, well-draining medium.
Keep the plant out of direct sunlight and make sure it’s guarded from cold and extreme temperature changes.
Don’t get discouraged by the fact that it’s a tropical plant native to Venezuela and Brazil. Despite its fondness of a rainforest environment, it adapts well to indoor conditions if you focus on meeting its basic requirements.